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The Business of Marriage

By |March 18th, 2014|

The very simple thing about running a business that many businesses miss is that doing it right means relating to people in the best way possible. It’s about motivating their work ethic, rewarding their success, and improving their weakness; helping them invest part of their soul in your success.

Any successful businessman knows that accomplishing these goals are synonymous with accomplishing the mission of the organization. Without an investment into the people, everything will be called into question.

Marriage is like a business. The business of marriage exists to accomplish a mission.

That mission is relationship.

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Why Being a “Fan” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

By |February 4th, 2014|

I’m one of those guys who either love something with my whole heart or merely tolerate it.

I call that “passion.” Realistically, I suppose I can also call it “Part-time Apathy.”

I feel one of these ways towards most things: I dislike bills, picking weeds, washing dishes, and grocery shopping. I love video games, singing, writing, Doctor Who and Star Wars…

In short, I’m either a fanatic, or I’m mostly indifferent and utilitarian.

“Fanatic.” That’s where the word “fan” comes from.

So when I say that I was a Broncos “fan,” until two days ago, you know what I mean.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. i’m one of those guys. The kind that is more of a fan when they’re winning. And you’d be right.

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Living Quietly in a Loud World

By |January 26th, 2014|

I’m a loud liver.

Steven Curtis Chapman once told me to “La la la la live out loud,” but I don’t think he meant for me to live a “loud life,” so to speak.

And yes, while God wants us to be demonstrative in our faith, he generally doesn’t want us to be “loud” about it.

But I like to be loud.

I’m one of those guys that has had to learn the hard way that I’m more effective behind the scenes. I can solve the problem. I can do the job. But I have a hard time talking about the job’s details or discussing the problem’s solution without getting tongue-tied and mixing up words.

But living nonchalantly? That’s been a huge challenge.

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Winning the Relationship Superbowl

By |January 13th, 2014|

Watching the Broncos and Chargers play it off this evening in Denver, something struck me powerfully. I was thinking about the next few weeks as the playoffs and Superbowl come to a conclusion.

It occurred to me that once all the hulabaloo is over and the off-season comes, there’s another season, another set of playoffs and another Superbowl.

It occurred to me that guys sometimes think relationships are like the Superbowl. Getting to the big game and winning it.

Relationships are not like playoffs. They’re not a touchdown. They’re not even a season. Relationships are like a career.

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5 Things Jesus Did That You Can Do for Your New Year

By |January 2nd, 2014|

Can we start off the new year on a better foot than usual? I know, I know. You already have that diet plan ready, the exercise bike positioned in front of the TV, or your cursor hovered over the CANCEL button in your Facebook settings.

Amongst the multitude of New Year’s resolutions made and followed through (or not), here are 5 things that you can do by following Jesus’ direct example:

Jesus face-timed. Believe it or not, Apple does not have the monopoly on this popular concept. He spent an unbelievable amount of time talking with people to their face. Today’s technological tidal wave of social networking, YouTube videos and 140-character micro-messages can inundate your brain with meaninglessness while making you believe the lie that you are “connected.” Don’t believe it. This year, spend more face time with people and connect the way God designed.

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How to Be the Best Gift Giver

By |December 22nd, 2013|

Are you exhausted yet? It’s the 22nd of December… And time is running out for last minute shopping. Come on now. Can you really say you gave it your all? Did you pull out all the stops to make sure everyone on your list got exactly the right gift?

Fear not, faithful Christmas warrior, because I’m here to tell you how to be the best gift giver ever.

I’ve done my fair share of scrambling. I’ve even procrastinated to the point where I didn’t have time to get a gift.

I’ve also been a great Santa, and spent way too much money on gifts, even though they were fabulous ones.

Stop for a moment. Think deeply with me.

What would Christmas be like without presents? What if Cyber Monday and Black Friday weren’t things? What if Christmas revolved around community and joy and forgiveness and selflessness?

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How to Make Your Spouse Fall in Love With You

By |December 14th, 2013|

I’m just gonna wing this.

I’ve done all the research I can stomach. I’ve been to every “fall in love again” website I can take, and read a hundred ways to “bring the romance back.”

Wouldn’t you love to have a sure-fire way to keep the fire smoking in your relationship? So would I. So I’ve looked long and hard at how to make your spouse fall in love with you, and I’ve discovered some compelling insights.

Almost every online resource I had time to look at is completely focused on romance, on physical intimacy, on sexual attraction. Holding hands, It was all based on emotionally passionate responses. They all offer “simple, practical steps to identifying and solving” the problems of marital dissatisfaction and relational distance and advice on “why he’s not romantic” or “why she doesn’t respond to you the same.”

In all candor, these small pieces of wisdom have their place. They’re functional, even practical. And yes, some of them work.

But there are deeper considerations; the word love can mean so many different things, and does. It’s the biggest gray area on the planet.

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Black and White

By |December 2nd, 2013|

The dude was sick for 38 years.

38 years.

Most of you reading this haven’t even lived that long, and if you have, it’s the better part of your life. As in somewhere from 50 to 90%

And Jesus healed him.

John 5 tells us the story. The guy was there for 38 years. Trying to get the pool that was known for the occasional stirring of its waters that would heal people.

Back up. Take it in. This man held on for thirty. Eight. Years.

Most of us give up on things after 5 minutes.

So he was there for a while, and people knew him. I’m sure the religious leaders knew him. After all, how many people are in the same place every day for 38 years? Do you notice the newspaper guy on the same corner each time you go to work or the store? Maybe he’s got a cane, or a limp… You know the guy.

So re’s recognizable. And he’s healed by Jesus, and of course Jesus does it by simply telling him to pick up his mat and walk.

He does as Jesus commands, and carries his mat into the city proper, and of course the Pharisees see him. Can you picture the scene? This man who everyone knows, suddenly doing something that an hour ago he literally couldn’t do, and then carries his belongings into town on top of it.

Everyone notices.

But there’s a problem. It’s the Sabbath, the day to stop, to rest. Rules were set in place so people would honor the day of rest after God’s 6 days of creation.

 

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Kind of Wrong

By |November 24th, 2013|

By now, I think an extremely significant portion of the internet-using population has read the article, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

Seth Adam Smith, a more or less professional blogger, has some great points about what pop culture thinks marriage is, and what it actually should be.

But I’m here to say that I think there’s something missing in his theory. Not much, but a critical juncture in the plan. He’s not wrong. He’s just kind of wrong. Going into marriage thinking What will this do for me? will always land you in the lukewarm water of dissatisfaction. But there’s more to a holy relationship than just doing things for your spouse.

With thanks to Joe, the author of this GoTandem devotional I’ve just finished reading several times, here’s some thoughts on Smith’s viral views on vows.

For marriage not to be for you would imply that God is working in you only to be a servant of somebody else. While that is admirable, serving others is not a means to an end, but a “slow deconstruction and reassembling of two human beings who were made to fit together but don’t even come close anymore.” Marriage is for you, but it’s for your holiness, and not your happiness. Holiness is hazardous to your ego.

Marriage is a powerful tool God uses to break down the old you and raise up a new you in its place. But you can’t fix your own brokenness. You can’t expose your own blind spots. Only God can. And God does. God wants to transform your heart, expose your weaknesses, and reinforce your fortifications; the spillover of becoming a servant is a side effect of his renewal process. And marriage is sure to expose your blind spots, and make darn sure that you know just how selfish you really are.

“Serving” people with a selfish heart will create resentment and bitterness. It places an invisible burden on your loved one’s shoulders to “earn” that service, and that’s not how God wants it to be. So let’s take Smith’s advice on one condition: that it is not you who serves your spouse, but God who loves them through you.

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Is It Meaningless?

By |November 18th, 2013|

It’s one of those weeks where my thoughts get jumbled in the emotional end-of-the-year chaos, for many reasons. Holidays can tend to make me unstable and random. My normal ADD seems to be worse than usual. I dive into something. I immerse myself in some project that completely distracts me from the dark emptiness trying to creep into my soul.

Last week’s blog, ’Tis the Season, addressed a little of how people treat the holidays less like a special time and more like an excuse to become especially shallow.

I have the opposite problem. My holidays are spent in a deep, deep place. A place of perspective, which normally would be a positive thing, but, with full disclosure, Ecclesiastes repeating theme becomes very real to me. “Everything is meaningless… everything is meaningless…”

The Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 subtitles in the NIV say, in this order, that “everything, wisdom, pleasures, folly, and toil” are all meaningless.

It doesn’t really leave much to have meaning.

 

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